History of European Ideas 44 (6):702-718 (2018)

ABSTRACTThis paper explores and reevaluates the place of Plato in the history of liberty. In the first half, reevaluating the view that he invents a concept of ‘positive liberty’ in the Republic, I argue for two claims: that he does not do so, insofar as this is not the way that virtuous psychological self-mastery in the Republic is understood, and that the Republic works primarily with the inverse concept of slavery, relying on entrenched Greek ideas about the badness of the status of being a slave and the actions and dispositions associated with it. Turning in the second half to seek Platonic innovation not in the domain of ‘positive liberty’ but in reflection on liberty as a political value, understood as the liberty of action of citizens within the laws, I argue for two further claims: that as such a political value, liberty is limited and reshaped in both the Republic and the Laws to be compatible with obedience to rule / willingness to be ruled, ideally willing obedience; and that for this limited and reshaped value to be secured, such obedience must be manifested not only in regard to a constitution’s laws, but also to the magistrates who hold office within it.
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DOI 10.1080/01916599.2018.1513248
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References found in this work BETA

Free Persons and Freee Choices.Philip Pettit - 2007 - History of Political Thought 28 (4):709-718.
Plato's Doctrine of Freedom.R. F. Stalley - 1998 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 98 (2):145–158.
Plato. [REVIEW]R. F. Stalley - 1983 - The Classical Review 33 (2):222-224.

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Citations of this work BETA

Freedom, Ethical Choice and the Hellenistic Polis.Benjamin Gray - 2018 - History of European Ideas 44 (6):719-742.
Plato on Utopia.Chris Bobonich - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Liberty, Bondage and Liberation in the Late Bronze Age.Eva von Dassow - 2018 - History of European Ideas 44 (6):658-684.

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